Vehicle documents to include Aadhaar linked phone number after plea in Kerala High Court raised concern about fraud in ownership transfer

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In order to avoid transfer of vehicle ownership without the knowledge of the registered owner, the Kerala Motor Vehicle Department has decided that vehicle documents will henceforth include the registered owner’s mobile phone number linked to Aadhaar.

According to a report in Mathrubhumi, the motor vehicle department’s decision in this regard was taken with a view to prevent fraudulent transfer of ownership of vehicles without the owner’s knowledge.

Previously, any number could be added to vehicle registration documents but now, it has to be the phone number that is included in the owner’s Aadhaar card.

One time passwords (OTP) will be sent to such mobile numbers for all applications, including for a transfer of ownership.

The move comes shortly after a petition was filed before the Kerala High Court calling for Aadhaar authentication to verify ownership of vehicles and to prevent fraud while transferring vehicle ownership.

It was filed by a woman who claimed to have been the victim of such a fraud when her husband, with whom she had some marital disputes, transferred her car to his name without her knowledge.

She said that she observed several flaws in the ownership transfer mechanism adopted by the State Transport Commissioner and the Centre such as

– On the Parivahan website, anyone who has a copy of the certificate of registration of a vehicle without hypothecation could transfer the ownership of a vehicle from the original owner’s name to his/her name;

– Only OTP authentication was required and the linked phone number could be changed without the owner’s knowledge; and

– There was no mechanism to ensure the genuineness of the signatures in Form 29 and 30.

On August 3, Justice Murali Purushothaman had sought the response of the Central government, the State Transport Commissioner, the Regional Transport Officer, and the husband of the petitioner.

“It is a dangerous situation,” the judge had orally remarked while issuing notice to the Central and State authorities.

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